Actor Teresa Palmer’s sparked discussion about what “gender neutral” might truly mean, when she uploaded a photo of her sons captioned “gender neutral for the win”.
“My wild tribe”
Teresa’s eldest son, Bohdi, wears a tie-dyed shirt with splotches of pink on it and Teresa was keen to point out that pink is an excellent colour for everyone.
“My wild tribe.” Teresa posted alongside the picture of brothers Forest and Bohdi. “I love their love. #brothers #hellyeahtheywearpink #genderneutralforthewin”
Some were quick to point out that wearing pink does not necessarily mean her kids are gender neutral, but obviously one photo can’t completely illustrate how this mum-of-two is living her life.
We’re guessing this photo was just a chance to hint at a broader philosophy this family is adopting.
“Just let them be”
One follower thought Teresa was pushing a doctrine on her kids, one that they might not WANT to adhere to.
“You have 2 beautiful BOYS. They are totally gorgeous, but wearing/liking pink does not make them gender neutral. You are imposing your beliefs on your boys, just let them be and they will grow into the men they are supposed to be. There’s no shame in wanting that for all our sons instead of trying to tick every box.”
Another suggested Teresa was simply pushing back against the sort of outdated stereotypes that assert “pink is for girls”.
“I think by gender neutral she just means that she’s not imposing ‘gender specific’ concepts like pink is for girls/blue is for boys. She’s not saying they have no gender … that is still gender neutral.”
Gender neutral 101
Gender neutral means: “suitable for, applicable to, or common to both male and female genders” but it can also indicate a person who does not identify as a man, woman or any other gender (also known as agender).
Gender neutral parenting is being adopted by many families in a bid to create equal opportunities for kids, encourage their natural interests and celebrate the individual. Things like toys, clothes, decorating and activities are all inclusive, and stereotypes that involve perceived masculine and feminine interests are abandoned. This is the gender neutral for the win that Teresa’s championing and it seems like a very sensible idea to us!